Do You Struggle with Binge Eating?
If you do, don’t worry, you are not alone. According to The National Centre for Eating Disorders approximately 12 million people in the UK suffer from compulsive overeating. Despite the alarming figures, it’s probably the least talked-about out of all the eating disorders.
For a long time, binge eating was not officially recognised as an eating disorder, with anorexia and bulimia attracting headline attention. Binge eating is often a secretive activity and while the weight of sufferers fluctuates there is not always a dramatic weight loss or gain which would trigger concern from friends and family. It is more often considered as harmless occasional over-indulgence.
Fortunately, the NHS, private clinics and leading eating disorder charities and foundations can offer help, support and advice if you believe you are a sufferer.
Characteristics of The Binge Eating Disorder
- eating a large amount of food when you’re not hungry
- eating alone or secretly because you’re embarrassed about the amount of food you’re consuming
- eating much faster than normal during a binge
- eating until you feel uncomfortably full
- having feelings of guilt, shame or disgust after binge eating
- not enjoying the food
- planning to binge
According to the NHS, people who regularly eat this way are likely to have a binge eating disorder.
Physical and Mental Issues
One of the overriding characteristics of binge eating or emotional overeating is the huge sense of shame surrounding the seeming loss of control around food which is why it is often accompanied by low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. These significant mental issues serve to perpetuate the disorder unless help is sought.
Binge eating on a sustained level can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. Guilt can then lead to periods of fasting or crash dieting which throws the metabolism into total confusion and can give rise to thyroid and hormonal imbalance issues. You can read more about the affects of diet on your mental health here
Treatment and Help
If you have binge eating disorder please don’t give up, always know that you are not alone, others are suffering in silence just like you. Break the silence and talk to friends and family about it, be frank with your GP and ask to be referred to a specialist. Now it’s recognised as a serious mental illness there are appropriate therapies which help tackle the underlying issues. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is widely used, as well as talking therapies. Talking therapy involves talking to someone who is trained to help you deal with your negative feelings so joining a support or self-help group could be useful. You can also contact BEAT website for more information and advice. Beat is the UK’s leading charity supporting those affected by eating disorders.
The Fitness Chef can provide you with healthy meals to meet your goals and recommend a meal plan tailored to your needs. We understand the importance of a balanced diet and make healthy eating options available to busy London workers. We produce fresh, nutritionist approved dishes tailored to your requirements which can be delivered to your home, gym or office, or picked up from our kitchen based in the City Point Building, Moorgate. For anyone who needs a more bespoke meal plan we are more than happy to provide a tailor-made service please contact us by Email.